More Americans lived in poverty in 2010 than at any time since at least the 1950s. The overall poverty rate climbed to 15.1, a 6 percent jump in just one year, according to Census figures.
The annual report of the Census Bureau showed nearly 1-in-6 people in poverty, mainly due to sustained long-term unemployment and the failure of the U.S. economy to kick into gear.
The number of uninsured also went up to 49.9 million, the highest in over two decades. The figures cover the year 2010 and the jobless rate has not come down much since then. The report comes as President Obama tries once more to push legislation that is aimed at spurring job growth while providing government aid to those out of work.
According to the report, the number of people in poverty in 2010 was 46.2 million, the largest number in 52 years for which poverty estimates have been published. The overall poverty rate climbed to 15.1 percent up from 14.3 percent in 2009.
Due to recession, U.S. poverty rate from 2007-2010 rose faster than any three-year period since the early 1980s, when a crippling energy crisis amid government cutbacks contributed to inflation, spiraling interest rates and unemployment.
The situation has hit black population the hardest, with their poverty rate rising from 25.8 percent to 27.4 percent. Child poverty rose from 20.7 percent to 22 percent.
An estimated 5.9 million Americans between the ages of 25 to 34 resided at their parents’ homes in the spring of 2011, when the survey was conducted. That’s up 25 percent since 2007. Many of them would be living in poverty if they did not live with their parents, according to the Census Bureau.
The share of Americans without health coverage also rose from 16.1 percent to 16.3 percent after the Census Bureau made revisions to numbers of the uninsured.
That is due mostly because of continued losses of employer-provided health insurance in the weakened economy.
The median or midpoint household income was $49,445, down 2.3 percent from 2009.